SSC Tender: Strategic Networking Service

We are looking for an organisation to deliver a strategic networking service for SMEs in the North East LEP area, as part of the Digital Innovation Partnership.

You can read the full tender below, or download the PDF (click here).

1. Tender Overview

You are invited to submit a quote to undertake Networking Strategising for ERDF eligible SME support clients through the Digital Innovation Partnership, which is led by Sunderland Software City.

The timescale for this work is ongoing between August 2020 and March 2021.


2. Background

Sunderland Software City (SSC) is a delivery partner in the Digital Innovation Partnership, which is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (managed by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government).

SSC works across the NELEP area, including Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland. Through its work leading the Digital Catapult North East and Tees Valley (NETV), it also delivers an economic and regenerative impact across Teesside.

Currently the networking initiative is delivered by a team of people working in SSC, and Gateshead and Sunderland Council with contracted delivery brought in when required, for example to deliver the SSC Intelligence Service.


3. Scope of Work

This work shall be supporting ERDF-eligible NELEP area SMEs to increase their abilities to network efficiently and effectively through the offer of a strategic networking service.

The Strategic Networking Service:

Breaking down the required service into elements, those responding to this tender (the ‘provider’) must be able to offer the following:

  1. A dynamic repository of information suitable to the sectors in which SSC operates that can be quickly expanded dependent upon client needs.
  2. Suitably qualified personnel to receive client information requests, refine queries and understand the sectors in which SSC operates – i.e. the framing of the queries.
  3. The ability to research and validate suitable information and bring together in a coherent synopsis which answers the clients query. The information will in the main be secondary data, albeit from disparate sources, however some primary information may be required. For primary data the provider must have strong contacts in the sectors in which SSC operates.
  4. The capacity and ability to handle at least 20 enquiries under this contract.
  5. The capacity and ability to complete reports within 10 working days.


4. Next Steps

We are now inviting businesses to submit a quotation for this work. Responses should include:

  • A short description of the expertise that would be applied to this work (including CV). Specifically, this should cover the experience of the respondent organisation in line with the requirements of this work.
  • Examples of any previous work which is relevant (maximum 2 examples).
  • A quote for this work in in day rate format including VAT and expenses.

Work carried out during quotation response development is at the discretion of the individual organisation and no reimbursement is available for said work.

Quotations shall remain valid for a period of 90 days.

Any responses received will be evaluated and scored against the following criteria:

Expertise and experience in developing and delivering Networking strategies50%
Examples of previous work35%
Value for money15%


5. Pricing and budget

We anticipate the value of the contract for this work to exceed no more than £15,000 + VAT.


Electronic version of proposal must be mailed to Laura Kennedy at no later than 5pm (GMT) on Monday 13th July 2020.
Any queries on the tender should be directed to Sophie Peel at

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